The White House took down posts on Facebook and Twitter on June 3 stating that antifa had been put a series of bricks in front of the Chabad of Sherman Oaks.
The tweet had stated, “Antifa and professional anarchists are invading our communities, staging bricks and weapons to instigate violence. These are acts of domestic terror.”
However, Buzzfeed reporter Arieh Kovler noted that the Chabad of Sherman Oaks had issued a Facebook post on June 1 explaining the picture of supposed antifa bricks were actually part of a security barrier that the chabad had erected in response to the Chabad of Poway shooting in April 2019.
“There were false pictures going around today claiming some bricks or rocks were placed at our center,” the Facebook post read. “Here is the truth: THESE ARE SECURITY BARRIERS and have been here for almost a year! Nevertheless, to alleviate people’s concerns that they may be vandalized and used by rioters, they were temporarily removed.”
The White House is falsely claiming that the anti-ramming security barriers outside the Chabad Jewish community centre in Sherman Oaks are actually weapons placed by "Antifa and professional anarchists". pic.twitter.com/y6J7Ta0jYI
— Arieh Kovler (@ariehkovler) June 3, 2020
Chabad of Sherman Oaks Rabbi Menachem M. Lipskier told Jewish Telegraphic Agency that he didn’t know about the White House’s social media posts and that the June 1 Facebook post was meant to address neighbors’ concerns.
“Many neighbors asked questions, so we posted to clarify, and that’s it,” Lipskier said, adding that the area has been “peaceful.”
Antifa is short for anti-fascist; the political protest movement says that it combats fascism and racism. President Donald Trump tweeted on May 31: “The United States of America will be designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.” Attorney General Bill Barr said on June 4 that the Department of Justice has evidence antifa and other extremists are behind the violence at some of the demonstrations. Antifa isn’t an organization with a membership or an official leader.
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has not yet documented any instances of violence caused by antifa during the demonstrations against the May 25 death of African American George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody; the Jewish group says that anarchists and people who are nonideological have been behind the violence at the protests.
Snopes.com reported on June 3 that neither Trump nor his administration has the legal authority to declare antifa a terrorist organization. The Tampa Bay Times reported that experts said “there is no legal process for designating domestic groups as terrorist organizations,” and that if the Trump administration sought to do that, the move likely would be challenged in court.